Careers in New Zealand’s Infrastructure Industry

Infrastructure is what keeps New Zealand connected – we’re talking about the roads you use to get to your away sports fixtures, the pipes used to get fresh water when you turn on your taps, the electricity network that you use to charge your phone overnight, as well as the telco network that lets you snapchat your mate what you’d look like if you were a panda.

what is industry training?

In the Infrastructure Industry, your employer needs to be comfortable that you can look after yourself onsite. Industry training allows you to get this health and safety and practical site knowledge, while you learn the skills you need on-job, and get paid at the same time!

How does Industry Training compare with University?

Industry training is tertiary education, just like a university or polytechnic; however, you complete your learning and assessments at work. After 2-3 years of industry training (e.g. working towards a New Zealand Apprenticeship or Certificate) you will walk away with work experience and specialised trade qualifications. Universities are known as the academic route to a career. After approximately 3-5 years of full time studying, you will (as long as you have passed!) be handed a tertiary degree or diploma, which you can then use to go out and find yourself a job.

What’s the best option for you?

  1. Undergraduate or Bachelor’s degrees can cost between $18,000-$25,000
  2. This will take you 3 to 5 years to complete
  3. You will get a job at the end, but you will need to approach companies and apply for jobs available
  4. You’ll come away with a Diploma/Degree
  5. You will need to approach companies for opportunities for work experience in the career path of your choice
  6. Long term career prospects include: Technical/Specialised roles or work your way up to Manager/Executive roles
Industry Training
  1. No cost to you
  2. This will take you 2 to 3 years to complete
  3. You will already have a job and your training will allow you to step up and progress
  4. You’ll come away with an NZ Certificate/Apprenticeship/Diploma
  5. You will already have a job and be getting practical experience
  6. Long term career prospects include: Technical/Specialist roles or work your way to Supervisor/Manager roles. A lot of tradespeople start their own businesses.

What is an ITO?

Industry Training Organisations (ITO)

ITO’s set the standard for industry training and create the qualifications, which sit with NZQA. We are constantly working with our industries to make sure the qualifications we are creating test the skills and knowledge needed for workers to do the jobs safely.

How we help you

When you sign up to one of our qualifications through your company (all of our qualifications relate to on-job training, so you need to be employed first – check out jobs) you will be assigned a Connexis Customer Service Account Manager (CSAM) who will come visit you onsite and make sure you are getting your assessments done and provide any extra help you need with literacy/numeracy etc. Your CSAM will be available to you whenever you need them!

Interested in joining?

Getting into the workforce can seem daunting at first, but we have a few things, tips and tricks in place to help you along.


Having a positive attitude towards turning up for work, and putting in the hard yards will go a long way in securing a lifelong career in the Infrastructure Industry. We mean showing respect, putting your hand up for work, being on time, taking initiative and being motivated to get the work done and stick to your training.

Drivers Licence – sometimes you’ll need to travel to get to your worksite, and being able to get yourself to and from work is a HUGE tick for employees. It’s also a great first step to getting behind the wheel of the massive excavators and trucks onsite!


To apply for a job, you will need to hand in a CV and cover letter, so it’s worth taking some time to get them right. Your CV should include your name and contact details, your personal statement/or objective, your skills, what you achieved while you were at school, as well as your education and any part time jobs you’ve had. Your CV should also include the sports teams and other extracurricular activities you were part of – this shows your employer that you can work in a team and are reliable.

Your cover letter supports your CV and tells the company how the skills you have developed specifically relate to the job you are applying for. Make sure your cover letter is no longer than one page! Check out Careers NZ video on ‘What to include in your CV’.


One way you can give the infrastructure workforce a try is through the school Gateway program. Gateway give students hands on experience in the workforce, which also gaining credits towards a qualification.

Check out more info on Gateway

gain real life experience

Not at school? No problem. Check out the apprenticeships, transition to work program, or if you are a female looking to join, check out the annual Girls with Hi-Vis event.

New Zealand Apprenticeships:

How about being employed and earning good money while you learn the professional and practical skills to do your job?

New Zealand Apprenticeships usually take around 2-3 years (a similar length of time to a bachelor’s degree) and lead to a nationally recognised level 4 qualification.

The difference is, once you finish your training, you will already be experienced and taking the next step in your career, instead of just starting out in one.

The best way to learn is by doing, and with a New Zealand Apprenticeship, you will get the opportunity to literally apply the skills you learn as you go.

Got a trade? Got it made!

Trades careers are for people who want to earn an income while training toward their qualification and career. A trades career is for people with smarts who want to do practical and useful work, who want to get financially set up without a loan hanging over their heads, enjoy working in a team environment and want to have heaps of options for the future.

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Transition to Work programme

Through a collaboration between Connexis and our Infrastructure Companies, the Transition to Work Programme aims to meet the industry skills shortage by teaching new employees the skills required to be a safe and productive team member, first day on the job

Find out more

Girls with Hi-Vis

Girls with Hi-Vis® an initiative by Ultimit – Woman in Infrastructure, the objective is to raise awareness and increase the number of women working in trade and technical roles in the Infrastructure Industries

Find out more

Already part of the team?

Already working within the Infrastructure industry? You are in the right place!

We hold or are involved in regular events and competitions, and can help you become a more skilled, experience and qualified infrastructure worker. Your friendly local field team can help guide you in adding to your CV through upskilling and gaining new qualifications. Make sure you check out each of the individual industry pages to check out what you can add to your skillset.

Annual Connection

Annual Connection is a yearly competition for line mechanic’s and cable jointers, supplier expo run by Connexis.

Find out more


Our companies are keen to see more females in trade and technical roles within their industries. Traditionally male dominated careers are now seeing women taking up the challenge to keep New Zealand connected. Our Ultimit activities are all about getting more women involved

Find out more